Human feeding a dog

Ten Tips For New Dog Owners

Becoming an owner of a dog involves a lot more than just picking the cutest one in the pet shop and taking it home. While it is sure to be one of the most rewarding experiences you have ever had, be aware that there will be adjustments that need to be made on both parts. Here are our top ten tips for new dog owners to consider.

There Will Be Costs
The first thing that you need to be aware of is that there will be costs involved. Your dog will not be able to eat the same diet as you, it will need its own place to sleep and it will need to see a vet, regularly.

Get a Vet
As we already discussed above, one of those costs will be for paying for vet care. A vet will be needed to administer vaccines as well as provide ongoing medical care.

Be Willing to Adjust Your Schedule
Dogs need a lot of exercise, training and attention. If you are looking for a dog that will just sit around like a cat, then get a cat. Dogs are not called ‘man’s best friend’ for nothing. They require companionship, and if you do not give them the time and attention they need, they will tear up the joint.

There Will Be Cleaning
If you are starting with a puppy then there will be lots of cleaning – think toddler style mess. But even if your dog is a bit older it will still want to tear up things every now and then, and without a doubt, if you have a dog, there will be a mess of some sort.

Get Some Training
This applies to both yourself, and your dog. The first thing you need to understand is that dogs are a pack animal and you need to establish yourself early on as the leader of the pack, to ensure that they will respect your commands.

Get a Leash and Learn How to Use It
This is pretty self-explanatory. There will be times when your dog needs to be on a leash, such as in some public places, so training them how to be on a leash is important to do from an early age.

Research Diet for Dogs
While dogs can eat some of what we humans eat, there are some human foods that will make them very sick, so do your research and keep your dog as healthy as possible.

Be Prepared to Explore Your Neighbourhood on Foot
If you are not into walking, then you had better find a neighbourhood kid whom you can pay to walk your dog for you. Dogs love to get out into the world and explore their surroundings. They want to sniff everything, pee on everything and look down every alley and up every path.

Socialise Your Dog
Like humans, dogs are social animals, and yours will need to be in contact with other dogs from an early age, to learn important social skills.

Be Patient
Above all, the best tip we can give you is to be patient no matter what happens. There will possibly be experiences that happen that you are not prepared for, so be prepared to stay calm and expect the unexpected.

Man smiling with a dirty white colored dog

Human Food Than Can Also Be Good For Pets

For most people, their pet is their best friend and they enjoy including their pet in many of the activities that they partake in during the day. When it comes to feeding dogs, it can be easy to adopt the mentality of ‘oh, they’ll eat anything’ and give them whatever food you happen to have on hand, however, it isn’t true for most dogs. Most of the time, dogs will eat anything you put in front of them, before realising that it does not make them feel very good, when it’s too late.

Some food can do a lot of damage to a dog’s or a cat’s organs because they are unable to process it effectively. Usually they will not be able to communicate this easily to their owner, so it is best to do your research and only feed them food that is going to be good for them. Because animals have different nutritional requirements from humans, as well as a different metabolism, there are some foods that we can all eat together, while there are some foods that are not good for animals.

  • Foods That Are Ok for Dogs and Cats

Carrots, Peanut Butter, Eggs, Blueberries, Salmon, Popcorn, Pineapple, Watermelon, Blackberries, Corn, Green Peas, Oatmeal, Apples, Broccoli, Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Coconut, Pork, Mango, Turkey, Rice, Beef, Bananas, Strawberries, Oranges, Mushrooms, Potatoes, Celery, Shrimp, Cooked Fish.

Note: Cats will need meats and fish to be cooked; otherwise, it will make them sick. In terms of quality, a good rule of thumb is that if you would not eat it yourself, don’t feed it to your pet!

  • Foods That Are OK in Small Quantities

Salt, Cheese, Cashews, Almonds, Bread, Tomatoes, Honey, Milk and Cherries

  • Foods That Are Not OK for Dogs or Cats

Grapes and Raisins, Chocolate, Macadamia Nuts, Onions, Avocado, Coffee, Tea, Garlic, Alcohol, Lemon and Lime.

Note: You will find that cats do not enjoy eating sweet foods anyway, as they don’t have the receptors to taste sweet tastes.

Choosing the Right Foods for Your Pet

Dogs and cats are very active, so they need food that is high in protein to give them the energy to do all the activities that they do throughout their busy day running around and exploring the world around them. Fish need particular foods that are bought from a pet store that contain everything that they need for their bodies. Other pets will most likely have very specific dietary requirements related to their own specific metabolic and physical needs.

White with black spot dog sitting in front of a bowl full of dog food

DIY Dog Snacks

Some of us really seem to struggle to hit the mark when it comes to cooking for our family and friends, which can really knock our confidence with cooking. When it comes to your dogs, they will be grateful for anything that you make for them but they will be over the moon if you cook them these tasty dog snacks. Not only will you have some yummy treats for training your dog, but also you will be assured that they are healthy and nutritious! At Durack Pet Motel, we place value on providing delicious, nutritious meals for your pet.

Peanut Butter Biscuits
Peanut butter biscuits taste great, whether you are a dog or a human, they’ll make your house smell delicious as you are baking them, and dogs love peanut butter – so they are guaranteed to please. You will need 2 cups of flour, half a cup of peanut butter, ¼ cup of water and 2 eggs. Mix all of your ingredients together until they form a dough. Roll it out on a floured surface and cut into shapes with your cookie cutter.

Frozen Apple Treats
These are really easy, they don’t need any cooking and your dog will absolutely love them! You will need an ice cube tray, water, a couple of apples and some plain yoghurt. Remove the seeds and core of the apples and cut them into small pieces. Put them in the blender with the water and yoghurt. Once blended, pour into the ice cube trays and freeze for a cool treat for your dog during summer. Yummo!

Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries are a healthy treat for humans that are guaranteed to get your dog’s tastebuds watering too! You will need some sweet potatoes, oil and spices. Dogs cannot eat some spices so be sure to do your research. Turmeric and cinnamon are usually a fairly good bet to give them some flavour. Cut potato into bite size sticks, toss in the oil and spices before baking in a moderate oven.

Sugar-free Liver Biscuits

If your dog is diabetic or has special dietary requirements, you may struggle to find a good variety of tasty, healthy snacks to use for training purposes. You will need around 700 grams of liver, ½ a cup of whole wheat flour and two eggs. Put liver pieces into a blender and pulse until very small, then add flour and 2 eggs. Blend until smooth. Spread out onto a lined tray and bake for 15 minutes. When cool, cut into squares and store in the fridge.

Your furry friends will enjoy these occasional treats.

Brown dog sleeping in a brown cubby basket

Items You Will Need In Your Pet Disaster Kit

They say that luck happens when preparation meets opportunity, so being prepared is your best bet for an outcome that is going to be the most pleasing, no matter what happens. When it comes to preparing for possible disaster scenarios we are all aware that we need a disaster kit for ourselves, but have we remembered to prepare for our pet as well? At Durack Pet Motel, we have a comprehensive pet disaster kit to accommodate all of our lovely guests that might be staying with us when an unforeseen event occurs. Here are some of the things that you will want to put in your pet survival kit.

Water

An essential item that your pet will need if disaster strikes is adequate water, so when you are stocking up on water for yourself, be sure to include enough for your pet as well. Plan for having at least a week’s worth of water for each member of the family, including your pet.

Food

Be sure to stock up on the canned wet food for your pet, which will last longer than dry food and provide more moisture, which will assist in keeping your pet hydrated.

First Aid and Medications

When planning your first aid kit for the family, be sure to include all medications for your pet, as well as yourself. Ensure that you get enough from your vet to last you through at least a month, which should be enough to last until you are able to see the vet again. Also, include first aid supplies that you might need in case your pet sustains an injury. It may be helpful to include bandages, wound disinfectant and any other items that you use frequently to treat your pet.

Relevant Paperwork and ID Tags

Be sure to include any important paperwork relating to your pet, in an airtight container to protect it from getting wet. These may include proof of ownership and proof of vaccinations. In the event that you need to be evacuated from your home, you may need to show proof of vaccinations for your dog to join you in your temporary digs. Ensure that your pet has its ID tags, or that it has been micro-chipped in case you lose your pet during the event, so that you will be able to find it easily when the dust has settled.

Pet Carriers and Leashes

Pets can sometimes feel afraid in the case of severe weather events and they may try to run away to find somewhere to hide. For this reason, including a leash or pet carrier in your emergency kit is definitely going to prevent you from losing your pet in the process of trying to get to safety.

Black and white colored dog peeking out of the car window

Five Things To Keep In Mind When Travelling With Pets

Some pet owners cannot stand the thought of travelling without their pets and are happy to go to whatever lengths necessary to make this a possibility. For others, who are moving to a different location, it can be unavoidable and a necessity to find a way of getting their pet from A to B.

As a member of the family, it is easy to understand why you might want to take them with you, but it is important to assess whether it will be as enjoyable for your pet (and you) as you might hope. There are some things to consider that may impact on your decision, and instead of purchasing their flight ticket, you may decide that it would be better for them to go to a comfortable pet motel instead.

Size of Pet
The size of your pet will determine whether it is able to go in a carrier inside the plane or needs to travel in the cargo area. Most airlines will allow you to bring your pets if they are in a carrier that can fit under the seat in front of you but they usually have specific guidelines about the size of carrier. The prices of each will vary, as to the details of what is required for each. Talk to your airline about which would suit your pet.

Relevant Paperwork and Fees
Your pet will need its own passport (of sorts) before flying as well as vet checks in order to ensure that it can be taken on the plane. Your destination may have specific requirements also, so do your research and make sure that you have everything in order to avoid any issues that may arise.

Keep Your Pet Safe
Most of the injuries that are sustained by pets that travel on air flights are self-inflicted, so it is important to prepare your pet for being inside its carrier or crate. Get it accustomed to being in the crate and do the appropriate preparations prior to boarding the flight such as giving it the specified amount of food, water and walks, for example.

Usually it is a good idea to take your dog for a big walk before you leave for the flight. This will assist your pet in being calmer during the flight, as well as give it the chance to have a good stretch, which it will not be able to get at the airport, as most airports require pets to be kept in their carriers.

Be Prepared to Change Your Mind
It is a lovely idea to take your pet travelling with you, and it is definitely something that is possible, but be prepared to change your mind if things do not go to plan. While you are preparing your pet for travel in its carrier or crate, if it shows signs of not becoming comfortable with the idea, you may need to adjust your plans. If in doubt, remember that your pet can be cared for by professional pet minders, such as Durack Pet Motel, where it will be cared for by experienced handlers who can provide the best care possible.

Brown pug lying on the floor

Dogs feel stress too

Dogs have feelings too. They have emotional issues and psychological issues as well. Just like people, they know fear, courage, pain, joy, sadness and love, so it is quite natural that in their daily lives they also know stress.

We then ask why my dog would feel stressed when all he does is walk around the whole day, eat, sleep and go about his doggy business. There are so many things that we humans do that actually stress our dogs out. Remember dogs are not children. Their behavioral patterns are very different and their reactions are different. Although they feel the same emotions as human beings, their psychological make up is different.

Dog Stressors

Conflicting Instructions

Dogs have a different language, and saying it out loud may be gibberish to them, unless he is already used to his owner’s behavior. When you give an instruction make sure that you do it with one word or action only, so that the dog knows which one to follow. Doing different hand gestures and saying different words for one action will only give them a hard time.

Punishments for Misbehaving

A dog is a dog, he will behave like a dog. So if there is an opportunity to play and run around he will definitely do it. Now if you punish him for his supposedly normal dog behavior it confuses them, and causes them a lot of stress.

Spanking or Pulling their Leash

We all know why this is the number 1 cause of dog stress, right? It is pretty natural that when you hurt a dog or even a human being as a matter of fact, this will cause a certain amount of stress to them.

WAKE UP!

Even your boyfriend will get mad at you if you wake them up the wrong way. Dogs love their nap times, and they really sleep soundly and deeply. So if you wake them up in a sudden whim, this creates quite a harsh environment for them.

It’s “okay” When It’s Not

Dogs know when things are not okay, so don’t say it is when it’s not. For example, if your dog hates to take a bath, and you keep on telling him that it’s all “okay”, when he clearly knows he does not like it. The word triggers them to feel stressed and feisty. Better to just calm them down first with a pat on the head and a stroke on their coat.

Negative Energy

Dogs pick up a change in energies around them, especially when it comes to their owners. So when you are angry or you and your partner are fighting, they can instantly pick this up and they get stressed out by the energy they feel.

There is still a number of things that cause stress in our dogs, and these are just a few of them. The key to eliminating or even just minimizing stress in the lives of man’s best friend is to respect their dog-liness and their needs as well. Spend time with them, and give them a stroke or a pat. Try to understand their disposition and look out for things that may be causing stress in their lives. Being conscious about all of this may just help you encourage a stress-free environment for your dogs.

Pups playing together in the grass

How Pets Provide Emotional Support To Their Humans

Across the ages, famous therapists such as Sigmund Freud have been known to include their pets in therapy processes as a way of engaging with their clients. These therapists understood the benefit of pets for assisting with healing on many different levels.

During a session, Freud found that having his dog Jofi present, would put the client at ease and allow for him to connect with the person on a deeper level than may have been possible, especially if the person was suffering from deep depression or severe trauma.

Thankfully, the benefit of having a pet is not just something that can be appreciated by those who are undergoing therapy. Pets also make great lifelong companions; they are able to provide emotional support for their owners in their day to day life, with many rewards for inviting a furry friend into the family.

Companionship

A pet is a great companion, either for a whole family, or for someone living alone who desires company. Often if someone has lost a loved one and find they are living in a house on their own, a pet will be a soothing balm for their melancholy feelings; in some cases, it gives them a new lease on life and something to look forward to. The beautiful thing about having a pet is that they are always ready with boundless energy and love for their owner, so if you are looking for someone who is always going to be happy to see you, try getting a pet!

Security and Safety

Whether you are living alone, or spending a lot of time at home by yourself, a pet such as a dog, can provide security and safety, even if it is a small one. Often would-be thieves will be deterred from attempting to enter your home if you have a noisy pet that will alert yourself and neighbours that there is someone lurking around the premises. A small dog can also provide security simply by being there, even if you are not home, especially if it has a very noisy bark.

Inspire Motivation

They say that one of the best things to get you out of a slump if you are feeling down is to go out and get some fresh air into your lungs. The advantage of having a pet, aside from having someone who is always going to be happy to see you, is that they will inspire you to get motivated and out of the house. While walking your pet you will start feeling better and be more inspired to do things that you might not usually do.

For those who are inspired to travel and are unsure who can look after their pet while they are away, talk to Durack Pet Motel about sending your pet to us for its vacation while you are away.

Black dog and a red rose

Why do dogs like to hump?

Why do they do it? We always ask that question, right? Do they have an attraction to the couch or maybe in love with our legs? Or maybe they are suffering from a rare sex addiction syndrome that has not been discovered yet? So we ask why dogs keep on humping.

Dog humping, just to clear out the elephant in the room, is a form of masturbation by dogs. Yes, it is sexual, but can be entirely innocent in some standards and may not even be all about sex at all. It is not unusual though that dogs are doing this, because it is already innate in their nature, and this should be considered a normal behavior for dogs to have.

You can call it any name you want; thrusting, mounting, rubbing or humping, it is still a form of dog masturbation. There are a number of different reasons they actually do this and this is what we will find out in this article.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

Of course, it doesn’t mean they know they are practicing, but they literally are. This is a biological calling that no one has to tell them to practice the process, but just to do it. Their bodies are automatically triggered at a certain stage in their lives and they become actively seeking sexual pleasure, which results to humping anything and everything they see that is humpable. This is a sign that your dog has reached sexual maturity and is ready to pro-create with a lady dog in heat.

PLAYTIME

Yep, this is how they play. How would they know that this is not proper decorum? They are dogs for Pete’s sake. This is how they express their youth and playfulness at times. If this is the case, this one is purely innocent, like a kid who does not know what’s right from wrong. They already associate the act to happiness and pleasure that even when they are already neutered, some dogs still have the tendency to do this because they remember feeling good when they did this before.

EMOTIONAL RELEASE

When humans get stressed, we eat, we exercise, we drink etc. Dogs masturbate. This is for real, masturbation or humping is a way for them to release pent up energy inside them. When they are happy or excited. Stressed or sad, this is a way to let it all go. That is why dogs who lack exercise or are not encouraged to move around have the tendency to do this more. Dogs have tons of energy and they have to release it sometime during the day.

EGO

In the animal kingdom, someone has to be the king, or better yet even just be the alpha male or female. Mounting or humping a less dominant member of their tribe or lady dogs, shows their dominance and this is considered social behavior for the dogs. During the time of sexual activity their testosterone is over flowing and they need to establish their seniority within their territories, hence the mounting occurs. They will actually do this even towards male dogs alike.

This may be an embarrassing behavior for your dogs, but it is inevitable. To minimize it, you can consider having the dog spayed or neutered, but at the end of the day you have to understand that this is just normal for your dogs to do.

Two dogs walking on the grass

Training Your Pup? 4 Things You Need to Know First

Dogs are definitely trainable but there is a degree of patience and knowledge that you need to have in order to get to your goals. There are several kinds of studies and techniques nowadays being published online that claim they can easily train your dogs. But for me there is no easy way or a standard 1, 2 step that can do this for you than just being a good and patient teacher.

MY NAME IS PROFESSOR….?

Remember, among all other things in this classroom, you are the teacher and your dog is a kindergarten kid. You are here to teach them things they need to learn in order for them to apply it to their daily lives. You are training them so they can easily be a part of the family and they can co-relate properly with their fellow dogs and their owners as well. At the end of the day you have to ask yourself what your goal is and why you are training your dog. The lessons are for him generally with a bit of bonus for you.

COMMON SENSE IS NOT THAT COMMON

That’s what my dad always says, which is actually very evident sometimes. It’s forgivable though because sometimes the owners lose their patience in the process of training their dogs, they forget that these dogs are still “dogs”. This means they are trainable but they require a different kind of training tactic. One big thing you should understand that dogs, don’t know the meaning of “No” so there is really no use in using it towards them.

BE NICE

Dogs feel too, they get hurt when you shout or call them names that they don’t even understand. Spend time with them and reward whatever good thing your doggy has done. This should not just be a one shot deal, you have to be consistent with rewarding them for their good and right behavior. This way they will understand that when they do certain things, you get happy, and that makes them happy to. Remember dogs can sense energy, bad and good. Sometime their attitude for that day will be affected by the energy you give out to them. So it really does pay to be nice.

BE REALISTIC

He is a dog, so be realistic with your expectations. Don’t expect him to understand every little word you say, especially if you use a lot of words to command him. Stick to one word that may connote him to sit or stand. Don’t confuse him by yelling at him and saying different commands. This will just lengthen the process and training even more. Know the limitations of your dog and don’t blame it on him if he can’t meet your expectations. Remember, you are the teacher and he is the student, if he can’t get it, there is something wrong with how you teach.

All in all, training your dog just requires your patience, understanding and a lot of love.

Safety, Security and Comfort Measures for Dog Boarding

If you have never checked your dog into a boarding kennel, you may have questions about what is involved and what your pet might need while it is on its ‘holiday’. Animals feel more secure when they feel at home in their environment, so our focus is on creating a home away from home for your pet. Caring for the needs of your dog will encompass our staff becoming the surrogate ‘parent’ of your pooch, and your dog’s safety and comfort is of the upmost importance for us at Durack Pet Motel.

Vaccination History

As a health and safety measure we require for all dogs that stay with us at Durack Pet Motel to have their vaccinations and parasite treatments up to date. This ensures the minimisation of infectious diseases that could cause the animal discomfort, or spread among the other ‘guests’.

Sleeping Arrangements

Dogs make themselves at home by moving their bedding around in their kennel until they find a dark, comfortable place to sleep. We provide a comfortable, dry, sleeping quarter of the appropriate temperature and ensure that there are no sharp objects or places where they can get their limbs caught or cause damage to themselves or others.

Companionship

An important aspect of life for dogs is companionship. As ‘man’s best friend’, dogs benefit from regular human contact, as well as being able to see other dogs. Without appropriate mental stimulation, dogs can become unhappy and display ‘acting out’ behaviours such as barking. Similarly, if dogs are housed in a highly active area with lots of traffic this may over-stimulate them, which can also lead to barking. As we know, when one dog barks unnecessarily, it often creates a chorus, which is often not music to the ears of humans, so our focus is on providing a balance between the two.

Special Dietary Needs

We recognise that different dogs require different diets, so we encourage owners to advise us of specific foods that make life more comfortable for their dog. The more information we have about your pet, the best care we will be able to provide, in all areas, so we make this a priority as we prepare for the arrival of your dog.

Exercise and Toilet Routines

During your dog’s stay with us, we ensure that it receives ample opportunity for adequate exercise, and time away from its kennel to stretch its legs and explore its environment. This includes ensuring that it has adequate opportunities for satisfying its defecating and toilet needs away from its sleeping areas.